Originally Posted by Shinigami
^But lots of comics admit using shock value to stir up the audience. Mainly because comics have this whole crowd rapport, part of which involves ways to rile folks. Carlin, Hicks, Rickles, Kinison, and plenty of contemporary out-of-tempo guys like Rogan, Izzard, Mohr, Chappelle, Silverman, Stanhope, Tosh. Even acts like like Maron. Even John Oliver! And I want to emphasize that I'm not extrapolating shit. This is straight up. Every now and again you get a blowhard who categorizes his shock value as 'truth', claiming that label doesn't come from his process but the dumbed down audiences who can't handle the real world coming at them, but with rare exceptions (Pryor, Hicks) the comedian is exploring taboos for the sake of exploring taboos. Which I think is a totally valid reason to explore taboos, and for those of us who haven't been shot, imprisoned or prostituted, it's the only reason we really have. Crowd rapport is part of their craft, and I think negative crowds are an even bigger part of their foundations considering how often upcomers have to bomb before they find their crowds. It's one thing not to find Cook funny, but I don't know if his process is that different from other comedians. He hasn't been doing stand up for awhile. I think he has been playing around with it a year on now, but he took a big break and this was a recorded improvisation at a club (as other schmoes have pointed out).
All of which is my roundabout way of saying nuh uh dane cook is too funny! stupidface!
I know, I know.
Well, at least this is a sane
argument. Thanks for that.
You make excellent points about timing, delivery, and experimentation in comedy. Anyone not in the business of comedy doesn't really go through this process, so some comics catch hell for any little thing. This is no exception, really.
I don't mind hearing most of these comics you mentioned either, save for Sarah Silverman, and Doug Stanhope. Silverman I just never caught on to and Doug Stanhope is just awful to me.
Shock value depends on what and how. There are varying degrees of intelligence in all of these guys. Sam Kinison was just a mean little monster I never took too seriously, no matter what he said. He just always made me laugh. I guess that there could be several people that feel that way about Dane Cook.
Bill Hicks was brilliant because a lot of what he said made sense. He put more thought into his act. He had to have the timing and the delivery, just like every other comic, which he did of course. And it was so good, people still talk about it decades later. I see the same thought and development in the acts of comics like Lewis Black and John Oliver.
You're right about Richard Pryor, too. He was the best at what he did for a long time. Once again, he put more thought into the material and he delivered very well.
Simply put, Dane Cook irritates me. He rubs me the wrong way and his material usually isn't great. That's one opinion out of millions, so take it at face value. I realize every comic has to develop their act one way or another. Taboo discussions aside (something that should just be forgiven of comics anyway regardless of whom), I just happen to not like most of his act.
I just finished Steve Martin's autobiography called "Born Standing Up". It covered his time as a comic and how he had to experiment and develop as a comic, like several here have mentioned. The book is a good example of the process comics go through to create their act and develop a relationship with the audience in the process. There were times it worked for him and times it just fell flat. If you haven't checked it out, I'd say it's worth the time to read.